Self-Drive Ski Holidays
The benefits of self-travel
- Self Drive for up to £150pp discount and an extra 1-2 days skiing
- Save on Flights supplements
- Enjoy faster roads on the continent
We can offer a self-drive discount in all of our ski chalets and ski hotels. Driving to resort or taking the Snow train often has the benefit of an extra day or two days skiing as well as increased flexibility over luggage and travel times.
For driving, all our resorts are approximately 600 miles from Calais, or an 8 to 9-hour drive with rest stops on the French side. Drivers should allow approximately £35 each way for tolls, and we would recommend booking ferry crossings in advance, especially for peak periods.
The beauty of driving is that you can take as much or as little time as you want, extending your holiday with some sightseeing on the way, or competing with your sat-nav to make record time! You just need to make sure you arrive on our transfer day so that you don’t miss the welcome evening. The freedom that a self-drive holiday offers can’t be rivalled. The driving is , scenic, especially in the mountains so for once your journey can be an enjoyable addition to the holiday.
If you’d like a ski drive holiday, you’ve got two options: either drive your own car out to your accommodation or fly out with Alpine Elements and then hire a car from one of the many reputable companies you can find at the airport.
You may deduct £70pp (£150pp at peak season) from our 'with flight' holiday prices for all self-drive or self-travel ski holidays. If a few of you share a car it will cost you next to nothing per person as Dover to Calais ferries are from £50 return for a car of up to 9 people! We can offer a reduction of between £70 and £150 per person for self-travelling (deducted from our ‘with flights holiday cost’). As well as the cost of the ferry, you will need factor in road tolls and petrol costs.
Driving in France
Driving to the Alps will give you an unrivalled freedom to explore the area surrounding your chosen resort. You won’t need to worry about airline baggage allowances if you take the ‘ski drive’ option, so you can bring all the outfit changes you need to look stylish on the slopes. You’ll also avoid excess baggage charges for bringing your own skis.
All drivers are required by law to keep a copy of their vehicle registration documents (V5), Insurance and driving license. You may be asked to present these at a toll or border, and failure to do so will result in a fine of up to 130 euros. Also required by law is a High Viz Jacket and Triangle. Further to this, we would recommend that you carry a fire extinguisher and spare bulb kit. All these items are generally available from the AA shops in Channel Tunnel or Ferry Terminals.
Driving to the French Alps often takes just 7-9 hours driving and two petrol station fill-ups on the French side. Drivers can often benefit from cheaper petrol prices and clear roads which make the journey less tiring. Rest stops or half way stops can also be educational for the family, and a visit to many of the historic French sites en route is not too lengthy a detour.
French motorway service stations are very well stocked, and those nearer to Geneva or Chambery tend to carry a full compliment of snow chains to fit all cars - and at a third of the cost, they are in the UK. All service stations take UK credit cards and have adequate refreshment facilities. In fact, the only thing they seem not to do well is coffee!
Some points to remember about driving in France:
- You will need to have some snow chains for your car. Although you don’t often have to use them in some areas you are required to carry them. They are cheaper to buy in France and the service stations near Geneva and Chambery tend to have loads to suit all cars.
- To drive in France you will be required by law to have a high-visibility jacket in your car, as well as a warning triangle, fire extinguisher and a spare set of light bulbs, all within reach rather than in the boot. If you are stopped by police hefty fines will apply, so it pays to be prepared! You can buy some of these on the ferry or channel tunnel shops if you forget beforehand.
- You are also required to keep a copy of your Vehicle registration document, insurance details and driving licence with you.
- Service stations along the way are very well stocked like in the UK so there is no real need to bring much food etc with you.
- The cost of fuel is about the same in France as it is in the UK, sometimes fractionally less.
- The roads are motorways nearly all the way, which makes for very easy driving. Just remember that motorways normally mean paying tolls in France, but they aren’t too expensive.
- Stopping distances are 10 times longer in ice and snow, so you might consider changing to winter tyres.
If you do decide to take the ski drive option for your Alpine Elements ski holiday this year, remember you will need special equipment for driving on snowy mountain roads. Snow tires and snow chains are essential and remember that in France you’ll need a warning triangle, high visibility jacket and a spare set of lightbulbs in the glovebox of the car as these are legal requirements in France.
Alpine driving can be a challenge, but the freedom that comes with a ski drive holiday cannot be matched, and many say they could never return to a traditional flights and transfers package. You’ll very much enjoy the exciting and scenic mountains roads and appreciate the opportunity to visit attractions outside your chosen resort. Of course, you’ll also enjoy the substantial self-drive discount offered by Alpine Elements.
Ferries are usually cheaper than the tunnel, but the crossing takes longer, so it depends on how much of a hurry you are in! We would recommend either using the Dover to Calais Ferry with P&O who are our preferred provider, or the Channel Tunnel which leaves from Folkestone to Calais.
We can book Ferry or Tunnel as part of your holiday package. Simply deduct £70 or £100 per person from our "with flights" Holiday cost and add the cost below which is for a return trip by car on the Channel Tunnel or Ferry.
• Dover Ferry is for a car & up to 9 passengers.
• Hull Ferry is for a car and 2 passengers. Additional passengers are £15pp.
Resort Drive Times
|Resort||Driving time from Calais*||Distance from Calais|
|Courchevel||8 hours 50 mins||963km|
|La Plagne||9 hours 15 mins||972km|
|Les Arcs||9 hours 10 mins||989km|
|Les Deux Alpes||8 hours 45 mins||935km|
|Les Gets||8 hours||877km|
|Meribel||8 hours 45 mins||957km|
|Sainte Foy||9 hours||978km|
|Tignes||9 hours 20 mins||996km|
|Val D'Isere||9 hours 20 mins||998km|
|*approx. (without stops)|
|Method||Dates in early Dec, Early Jan & Mid April||Xmas, New Year, Half Term & Easter||Jan, Feb & March dates|
|Ferry (Dover)||£99 p/car (up to 9 pax)||£139 p/car (up to 9 pax)||£119 p/car (up to 9 pax)|
|Ferry (Hull)||£99 p/car (2 pax)||£139 p/car (2 pax)||£119 (2 pax)|
|Channel Tunnel||£129 p/car (up to 9 pax)||£189 p/car (up to 9 pax)||£169 p/car (up to 9 pax)|